ERIC KNOWLES AND THE NAKED DANCING GIRLS - WHATEVER NEXT !
Hello everyone. I have to say that now, along with winter receding in our rear-view mirrors, I also have something of a spring in my step for another reason. This weekend I have another opportunity to share my love of antiques with members of the public, something which I always enjoy immensely.
Over the course of this coming weekend, I’m going to be hosting a talk down at The Pantiles Arcade which will give me a chance to introduce you to the wonders of early/mid 20th century creativity which left a rich legacy of items which now go under the collective name of ‘Art Deco’.
I’ve always nurtured a particular fancy for pieces made in the 1920’s and 30’s – the heyday of Rene Lalique’s glassware and Moorcroft pottery, both of which I’ll happily admit to coveting a little more than I probably ought to.
However, I’ve been very pleased able to broaden my horizons when it comes to other items made during the same period since we have welcomed Jeroen Markies and David Hickmet on board my rather splendid venture in the old Corn Exchange. These two gentlemen are at the very top of the tree when it comes to the provision of Art Deco material, and I’ll be able to illuminate my talks with examples of the finest works from their curated collections which are now hosted and offered for sale down here.
Art Deco works are real treasures. They were made with an innate sense of ‘user friendliness’ as opposed to being rather staid creations, bound by enduring preconceptions of what should be considered ‘high art’. The old cliches were swept away by a new broom of vigorous almost effervescent creativity, and we find that traditional techniques such as bronze-casting and glassmaking were used to generate striking, liberated items which exemplified the optimism and joi de vivre of the 1920’s and early 30’s.
It doesn’t seem to matter whether we are looking at glassware or bronzes or wooden furniture or paintings or ceramics, if it fits the Art Deco mould, then there’s a degree of joyful release involved as if the artists, collectively, breathed an enormous sigh of relief as they were allowed to set their own standards and tread new paths, without having to follow the strictures that had previously constrained ideas and dictated how things ‘ought to look’.
It has to be said that many of the bronze statues we have available here feature nude studies – coquettish, playful almost daring pieces that seem to perfectly capture the somewhat audacious nature of the Art Deco movement as a whole. It may seem difficult to imagine how a piece of furniture or art glass can begin to encapsulate the same lust for life as any representation of a dancing girl or an unfettered wild animal, so come along and take a look – my colleagues and I will be very pleased to explain, and to share our love of these exuberant works of art !